What you’re about to learn might make you feel as angry as I do.
You know UGGS? Of course you do.
If you have never owned a pair, you’ve no doubt seen the kak ugly albeit uber-comfy sheepskin boots at a trance party, along with a pair of cargo shorts and tie dyed t-shirt.
Well, contrary to the logo above’s suggestion that it’s an Australian brand, UGGs is actually owned by American company Deckers Outdoor Corporation and are produced in China.
We’ll get to the timeline that stirs up all the controversy in a moment, but let’s start with the legal talk.
In a move to stop Australian manufacturers from selling the boots worldwide, Deckers is “suing Sydney manufacturer Eddie Oygur [below] for millions of dollars for alleged breach of trademark,” reports BBC:
“It’s outrageous,” says Eddie Oygur, founder of Australian Leather, who is in the US for the legal battle.
“Ugg is just the name for the boots, and we’ve sold them for nearly a century. Now a US giant has trademarked the name, and wants to stop us.”
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Oygur said: “I haven’t been able to export one pair of boots since 2009. It’s terrible. All my customers around the world want Australian-made ugg boots, but Deckers has stopped us from selling worldwide.”
Bloody Americans and their trademarks.
You see, not only is “ugg” the generic term for boots made from sheepskin, but the first uggs originated in the Blue Mountains, Australia in the 1930s, and were used to “protect against the cold of winter in New South Wales”.
It was only when they became fashionable overseas that the legal tussles began, a battle which is now worth some serious cash-money:
Revenue at California-based Deckers rose more than 20% to $209m (R2.8 billion) in the first half of 2017.
Deckers registered the trademark UGG in 1999, and has since fought several legal battles with rival manufacturers preventing them from selling the boots in the US and the rest of the world.
However, courts in Australia have come to the opposite view – ruling that “ugg” is a generic term for boots made from sheepskins with fleece attached.
Now, the name ugg cannot be protected in Australia, and anyone is free to sell ugg boots there.
In the court battle currently going down in the US, Deckers’ argument is that uggs were created by Australian surfer Brian Smith, who started making the boots in California in 1978, so they have every right to own the name.
Oygur, on the other hand, is not only fighting the lawsuit, but will also be battling the trademark. He argues that the use of the Australian word should belong only to Australians, kind of like how the French own ‘champagne’.
“I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m doing this for the Australian boot industry,” he said.
So next time you invest in a pair of uggs, make sure they come from Australia, why don’t you?
[imagesource: UNESCO / The Great Spa Towns of Europe] After some time deliberating (onl...
[imagesource:here] Life aboard a yacht, superyacht, or as is the case with Jeff Bezos, a ...
[imagesource: Petra Diamonds Diamonds are a gir... struggling mining industry's best fr...
[imagesource: YouTube / News24] The EFF and members of the Afrikaner group Bittereinders ...
[imagesource: Isar Aerospace] The Porsche Dynasty Is Taking On Jeff Bezos And Elon Musk...